Practice makes perfect. Anyone who wants to be able to shoot accurately will need to put in plenty of time at the range, especially if they want to get good enough that they can shoot well under pressure. It is possible to reduce that time by practicing in the right way, which will ensure that skills develop as quickly as possible.
Gun safety is the most important skill for anyone who uses a firearm, and it is vital to practice it at all times while at the range. This is important not just for staying safe while practicing, but also to make sure that you develop good habits that will keep you safe in other situations.
The most important thing is to treat every gun as though it is loaded and dangerous at all times. The weapon should never be pointed at anything that you do not want to shoot, and your finger should only go on the trigger if you are about to pull it. Similarly, you should always listen to any safety officers or administrators that are at the range, since they will often be able to see potential problems that individuals shooters are not in a position to notice.
It is normal for new or inexperienced shooters to flinch when they pull the trigger, usually in anticipation of the next time that they will fire. This causes the gun to change position, which greatly reduces accuracy. It also forces the shooter to adjust their aim before taking another shot, which can add an unacceptable delay in the field.
The best way to fight against this tendency is with the single shot drill. Load the pistol with one round and remove the magazine. Shoot normally, then aim and pull the trigger again. There should be no recoil on the second attempt, since there will be no ammo to fire. If there is any dip after shooting, you will know that you need to work on keeping your gun in position after each shot.
Consistency is key when shooting. Most shooters should strive to put all their shots in the same part of the target by forming a tight group. This is one of the easiest ways to build basic aiming skills, and it also helps with assessing them. In general, the closer the shots are to each other, the more accurate the shooting.
The Failure Drill
The Failure, or Mozambique, Drill is one of the most useful training options for defensive shooters. Take a target that is shaped like a human and put it at an appropriate range. Load your gun with three rounds, and prepare to fire. Try to put two rounds in the center of mass, and then a single shot into the head. This technique balances stopping power with accuracy, which makes it useful to practice for emergencies.